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View Full Version : Thoughts on Programming Ideas?


Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 08:39 AM
hello all - let me start by giving a little back story. i'm currently a crossfitter who is trying to branch out on my own and steer my training more towards my personal goals, and i also just basically want to try new things. i recently introduced my wife to training and CF as well, and quickly learned that her level of deconditioning would require a back to basis approach (which i suspected initially.) so, because we both have some similar goals (added strength and addressing deficiencies in running # 1 and # 2, with a slighter focus on GPP) i have devised a sort of "plan" for our first 12 weeks of training on our own, which will likely end up extending from then on. this forum has been a boon for ideas for me and specifically Gant Grimes' post on hybridization (and his log) have given me tons of ideas and have excited me about trying my own hand at programming and keeping my training fresh. so here's what i have in mind, please give me as much criticism, feedback and advice as you have to give, as i am a complete beginner at programming.

4-5 days a week we will do stretching and recovery sessions including the DeFranco Agile 8 and foam roller/lacrosse ball work

M - Starting Strength Workout A, 12 minute sprint interval (the program i have is a warmup, followed by sprinting at intervals of 1:00, walk/jog 2:00 and so on...just to build us up from basically no running ability at all, to running a solid mile)

Tu - Skills Work (for her: teaching basic skills, for me: working on new skills like OLY lifting or strongman or working on new implements, revisiting old skills) followed by a sub 12:00 metcon (couplets or triplets involving no barbells, things like KBs, box jumps, sprints, bodyweight exercises) focusing on form and intensity rather than reps or times

W - Starting Strength B, Sprint Interval

Th - Rest Day

F - Starting Strength A, Sprint Interval

Sat - Skills Work, Sub 12:00 Metcon

Sun - Rest Day

keep in mind that this is an initial program for building our strength and endurance. down the line i'd love to incorporate some Wendler 531, Dan John Complexes, CF Football WODs, Catalyst Athletic stuff, etc.

basically, what do you think of what i have planned - is it too much? too little? anything you would tweak or change? thanks for the insight, any advice is very much appreciated. please let me know if you'd need further information. i can post more specific goals for myself. for my wife, it's a bit more unclear but basically building her strength to bodyweight DL and BS, and building a non-stop mile would be the initial goals.

Gavin Harrison
02-16-2010, 10:56 AM
That's a ton of work... Starting Strength + Intervals 3 times a week on it's own is probably too much.

If you're going to do Starting Strength, you should probably narrow your goals to #1. Get strong, #2. Recover, #3 Maintain some semblance of conditioning. Starting Strength is brutally demanding.

Now I'm going to steal from The Keys to Progress on #3. Work up to jogging 2 miles, 2-3 times per week. Not intense, just jog. That should be enough to keep some fat off (if you're eating for weight gain properly) and keep your conditioning from tanking.

WAIT UNTIL THE SS GAINS DRY UP COMPLETELY. THIS MIGHT BE 3-9 MONTHS.

Once you're their, I'd recommend going to 5/3/1 for strength work, and this is a bit more flexible. Wendler lays out pretty good ways to lay out the plan (See here (http://stronglifts.com/forum/jim-wendler-seminar-some-interesting-points-t19803.html)). For you, I'd probably go 3 days per week with something like BW or Triumvirate for assistance work, then do hard conditioning (sprints, hills, prowler, whatever) on squat/deadlift days and light conditioning (treadmill/jogging/whatever) on bench/press days. Throw the skill work in before any of the days it wont effect the rest of your training.

I know you're coming at this from the Crossfit/GPP mindset, but if you want to get strong, get strong. Once you're at a decent baseline of strength, then you can start adding some harder conditioning back in.

I hope this helps.

Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
02-16-2010, 11:06 AM
Mike, I will continue to stalk you no matter what the forum :)

I feel like this is WAY too much work, as Gavin said. I know that you tend to do a ton of work... but you need to get rid of the idea that "more is always better".

With a Crossfit Total of around 1000, I'm not so sure you need to be doing SS, but I suppose that's more for you to decide. If you want to simply be doing the same thing as your wife, this I can understand.

Getting strong and getting better at running are 2 conflicting goals. GPP + getting better at running might be a better overall combo.

I like Gavin's idea of incorporating "jogging" into your program, rather than sprints and/or long runs.

Brian Stone
02-16-2010, 11:09 AM
Edit: Whoops cross posted w/ those guys and basically said the same thing.
-----

I'll be impressed if you can handle that volume. I did SS on its own for a while and it takes a huge toll on its own. Coupled with GPP and sprint work, I think you are going to find remaining true to the programming to be difficult.

I haven't had any experience with mixing programs, and I guess your mileage may vary, but it wouldn't have worked for me.

Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 11:21 AM
thank you all very much for your input. as i was typing it i thought that it could be too much. i am likely underestimating the toll SS will take as i've never done it. heavy lifting has never taken a real toll on me at all, but i can definitely see where doing 3 sets at what's now maxes will be very tough after a few weeks. i have never really run into any recovery issues, but i definitely want to avoid being counterproductive in my training as well. would you cut out the metcons altogether while on SS? Bo - thanks for following, ditto - and though i definitely don't feel like i need SS, per se, from everything i've read, just about anyone can benefit from it, up to those in the elite category...and to be honest i want a big strength component in my training because i love it...if anyone has any better method that i might try, i'm definitely open. to give current stats, here's my 1 reps:

BS - 385
Press - 196
Deadlift - 430

for my wife, perhaps it's best to limit to SS, and then work on skills and build up jogging like you all have said? thanks again

Mike ODonnell
02-16-2010, 11:50 AM
Heavy lifting and sprinting are pretty CNS demanding....and so will be the recovery. Pick your battles wisely. You probably don't need to sprint more than 1x a week to improve along with other strength work.

Unless you are 21 and indestructible.....but otherwise as we age you are bound for injuries and burnout that will take weeks to recover from (if you are lucky that is all).

It's all about creating the right stimulus to grow on (which means long term progression)....and then giving the body the right recovery to allow it to happen (eat, sleep, relax).

Shane Skowron
02-16-2010, 01:24 PM
Unless you are 21 and indestructible.....

You called ? :D

Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 01:34 PM
Heavy lifting and sprinting are pretty CNS demanding....and so will be the recovery. Pick your battles wisely. You probably don't need to sprint more than 1x a week to improve along with other strength work.

Unless you are 21 and indestructible.....but otherwise as we age you are bound for injuries and burnout that will take weeks to recover from (if you are lucky that is all).

It's all about creating the right stimulus to grow on (which means long term progression)....and then giving the body the right recovery to allow it to happen (eat, sleep, relax).

thank you for the feedback. no, i'm 31 and most definitely destructible. i should note that my "sprinting" is about on par with your average runner's "jogging." :D

i guess the thing i need to determine for myself is whether to work the things i'm deficient in (running, metcon) or the thing i enjoy (strength) or find a different way to get a happy medium of the two.

Derek Weaver
02-16-2010, 02:07 PM
MEBB seems to have been forgotten lately. I'd suggest that route or the 5/3/1 recommendations for someone with your strength levels.

Jonathan Yoon
02-16-2010, 02:20 PM
You called ? :D

That "S" on your chest is for "Shane", not "Superman". :D

Garrett Smith
02-16-2010, 03:06 PM
i guess the thing i need to determine for myself is whether to work the things i'm deficient in (running, metcon) or (1) the thing i enjoy (strength) or (2) find a different way to get a happy medium of the two.
Life is too short to do stuff you don't like but are "deficient" in. The thought of metcons over 5 minutes makes me sick to my stomach. Not that I do any these days anyway, but I know what I would do if I felt I "needed" to.

I say do (1) or (2).

Kevin Perry
02-16-2010, 04:08 PM
Don't get yourself caught up on what the Internet ninjas from the gin soaked couch boards would have you believe. Do what you want to and go from there. You will feel much better.

Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 04:23 PM
MEBB seems to have been forgotten lately. I'd suggest that route or the 5/3/1 recommendations for someone with your strength levels.

i have never really read about MEBB...i will look into that for sure. 5/3/1 is really intriguing. thanks!

Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 04:24 PM
Life is too short to do stuff you don't like but are "deficient" in. The thought of metcons over 5 minutes makes me sick to my stomach. Not that I do any these days anyway, but I know what I would do if I felt I "needed" to.

I say do (1) or (2).

thanks, i agree...2 ultimately is probably more of what i'd like to do. i'll just kind of have to experiment my way to what works.

Mike Kerce
02-16-2010, 04:26 PM
Don't get yourself caught up on what the Internet ninjas from the gin soaked couch boards would have you believe. Do what you want to and go from there. You will feel much better.

ha. thanks...ultimately 9 out of 10 people will end up doing what they want anyway, but i really do value all the input, as i wouldn't even begin to claim i know what i'm doing. i really like the idea of having some freedom in my training and look forward to trying out new stuff and figuring it all out.

Garrett Smith
02-16-2010, 06:45 PM
You should come to this seminar (http://www.performancemenu.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30_38&products_id=333), or at least get the DVDs when they become available...:D

Allen Yeh
02-17-2010, 04:42 AM
i have never really read about MEBB...i will look into that for sure. 5/3/1 is really intriguing. thanks!

We sit around similar numbers and I really like the flexibility of 5/3/1, I've done MEBB before and it was good as well but I didn't feel like I was getting enough lifting in for my liking.

A sample plan Wendler lays out in his book is this:
1. foam roll/warmup
2. jump rope
3. main lift
4. accessory lifts
5. conditioning - he recommends hill sprints or a prowler but since where i've been training it's relatively flat and I don't have a prowler so I'd just do a short intelligently programmed metcon.

As for your wife, unless she is really driven I don't think SS would be a good place for her to start. If you recently introduced her to training then I would stick with the basics and find things she finds fun.

Mike Kerce
02-17-2010, 01:14 PM
thanks to all! i read up on 5-3-1 and i'm really excited about it now...think that's the path i'm going to go for strength. I like how it leaves the door open for additional work. after talking through it with my former trainer and reading around here, I think I will try my wife out with one lift per day 3x per week...but focus on form and building the muscle memory rather than worry about the weight. outside of that we'll work on building her running and building all the basic bodyweight skills...in other words spend the first few months learning and building the proper flexibility and base strength and endurance. we'll figure out what she likes in the process and build something for the future from there.

many thanks to all for the suggestions. for those that have done W531...did you switch to something else after your cycle, or just re-do W531. i thought it'd be fun to do W531, then switch to something different and revisit W531 periodically. good idea? bad idea?

Derek Weaver
02-17-2010, 02:08 PM
Well 5/3/1 is done in 4 week blocks, 3 on + a deload. So a cycle is kind of a subjective term. I wouldn't see a problem with doing 5/3/1 for a few months, then if you feel like getting a little more aggressive going with something like Starr's 5x5. 5/3/1 is the epitomy of slow and steady.

Mike Kerce
02-17-2010, 04:17 PM
Well 5/3/1 is done in 4 week blocks, 3 on + a deload. So a cycle is kind of a subjective term. I wouldn't see a problem with doing 5/3/1 for a few months, then if you feel like getting a little more aggressive going with something like Starr's 5x5. 5/3/1 is the epitomy of slow and steady.

good to know, thanks!

Gavin Harrison
02-17-2010, 05:40 PM
For reference: the book 5/3/1 can be bought for about 20$ here: http://flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=370&m=PD&pid=2976

As Derek said, the program is based around "1 month" (if you do 3 days per week your
"month" is actually 5 weeks). It's built for long term progress in strength, but the flexibility of the program (since only the 4 primary lifts are emphasized) allows you to periodize your training without ever really leaving the program.

For instance you could do:
4 months of 5/3/1 focusing on hypertrophy.
4 months of 5/3/1 focusing on max strength (potentially even replacing AMRAP with 2-3 heavy singles after top set).
4 months of 5/3/1 focusing on conditioning.

etc.